I quite like sewing bathers. Moreso for my daughters than for myself. Smallish pieces of fabric, great prints and colours, and mostly pleasing results. My bathers pattern stash is growing, I must admit, especially with old patterns – often by Kwik Sew – that I pick up at op shops.
This is not one of those op shop patterns! This is the Vernazza Two Piece, a pdf pattern from Friday Pattern Company. It started appearing on Instagram, I showed it to Clare, and she gave it the go-ahead.
From the pattern website: Whether you’re frolicking along the coastline of northern Italy or sunbathing in your backyard, the Vernazza Two Piece will have you feeling glamorous and comfortable. It features tank straps, an adjustable tie front, and a soft waistband. The bottoms hit at about your belly button and can easily be adjusted for a higher or lower rise. This is a simple swimsuit with a lot of style. It is fun to sew and is perfect for the very confident beginner or intermediate sewist.
While writing this blog post I notice that there is also an instructional video for making these bathers! I wish that I’d actually watched it before sewing them. Even though I’ve sewn quite a few pairs of bathers, I’m never entirely confident and always keen to get extra tips and hints. That said, these weren’t really difficult to make.
Clare prefers high waisted bathers bottoms with low cut legs. Show her any of those high-cut ’80s leglines and she recoils in horror! I sewed the XS bathers bottoms, and she is super happy with the fit. I fully lined the bathers with a beige swimwear lining from stash. The print is from Rathdowne Fabrics. I chose not to put elastic inside the waistband, and it seems to fit well (although only wearing in the water will really tell). I used the suggested elastic measurements for the leg openings. I felt as though I was over stretching the elastic when I sewed it on, but once it was all turned to the inside and zig zagged again it seemed okay.
The top is also size XS, and it’s really a size too big for Clare. I put it in the category of wearable muslin. Like the pants, it is fully lined, although I used the print to self-line the front because it shows at the front tie.
Once again I used the suggested elastic lengths, and I do think that they just were too short. The top looks pretty bunchy, as I had to stretch the elastic quite a bit in order to make it fit. After trying the outer shell on Clare I shortened the shoulder straps about half an inch at the shoulder seam, and scooped that half inch out of the underarm to compensate. It put the top in a better place on her body.
The instructions have you sew the neckline elastic to the lining, not through both the inner and outer. This means that you need to sew it exactly next to the seam allowance. I learned this the hard way as I sewed it too far in and had to unpick it all and reattach it. I actually found it easier to get it in a better position by sewing it after the lining and outer had been sewn together. That way I could butt the edge of the elastic right along the seamline. It still has a tendency to roll out a bit, but that could be because the top is a size too big. You can see the lining at the back in the photo of them on Clare. If the top was more stretched out on the body it could be fine. Either way, I need to refine my elastic application the next time that I sew these.
Clare is happy enough with the wearable muslin. I still have plenty of the fabric, so will actually make another top from a pattern that I know fits her, then she can mix and match a bit. Give her another year of growth and this might fit better. Physically, Clare is very similar to me at the same age. I kept growing until I was around 18 or so, and like her was still very slight at age 15. I am so pleased that she still likes me to sew for her!